Center for Arms Control

Afghanistan & Iraq Analysis Archive

Jul 23, 2014

The Hill Publishes Blog entry by John Isaacs on the similarities between US intervention in Iraq and Vietnam

"The Vietnam War should have taught us that a large foreign military force can transform a genuine problem into something worse. Yet we repeated that disastrous error in Iraq in 2003 and risk repeating it again in 2014," writes John Isaacs, Senior Fellow at the strong>Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Jul 15, 2014

Defense One Publishes an Op-Ed by Lt. General Robert Gard on the failure to establish a cooperative effort between security forces and governing institutions in Iraq

The U.S. armed forces have spent considerable time, resources and talent building up and training Iraqi security forces, but lack of a parallel effort to establish governing institutions capable of earning the loyalty and commitment of those forces has doomed their efforts.

Mar 7, 2013

Gilmer Mirror OpEd: We've Got to Get Out of that Place by John Isaacs & Usha Sahay

"Rather than prolonging the quagmire in Afghanistan, Obama should take this opportunity to finally to honor his commitment to bring our troops home," write John Isaacs and Usha Sahay in The Gilmer Mirror.

Jan 9, 2013

AR Parrot Drones: The New Evolution of Drone Warfare

As debates about the U.S. use of drones abroad continue, Americans can now own their very own toy drones, complete with miniature hi-def camera and "black box."

Dec 20, 2012

The Flawed Logic of “Stay the Course” in Afghanistan

68,000 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan, and some have called for the majority of those troops to remain for another year or more. But with little indication that an extended presence will shift the fortune's of NATO's failed efforts in Afghanistan, there is no reason to "stay the course."

Mar 1, 2012

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Assessment of Iraq

Before the U.S. invasion in 2003, warnings about an insurgency developing in Iraq after Saddam Hussein's regime fell were ignored by the Bush administration. Lacking training in counterinsurgency operations, U.S. armed forces initially used aggressive offensive tactics employing heavy firepower and ignored the two fundamental principles of counterinsurgency operations: create a secure environment for the civilian population and isolate the insurgents.

Mar 1, 2012

Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation Endorses Afghanistan Study Group Report

On September 15, the board of the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation endorsed the August 16th report from the Afghanistan Study Group. The report, entitled: A New Way Forward—Rethinking the U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan, argues that the current U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is not vitally essential to U.S. national security, ensnares U.S. forces in a civil war, has costs of over $100 billion a year to counter an al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan of less than 100 members and is counter-productive to regional stability.

May 12, 2011

Estimated Iraq and Afghanistan War Funding FY2001-FY2012

A summary of Iraq and Afghanistan war funding through Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.

May 12, 2011

“A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan" Report

The Afghan Study Group produced a report in April 2011, entitled “A New Way Forward: Rethinking U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan” that offers recommendations to the U.S. government and military and rationale for resolving the current civil war in Afghanistan by political means.

May 6, 2011

“Afghanistan: Negotiating Peace”: A Century Foundation Report

The “Afghanistan: Negotiating Peace” report, co-chaired by two internationally renowned diplomats, outlines a political solution for the war in Afghanistan because, they argue, there is no military solution. The foundation for their case is that there is a military stalemate, the Taliban cannot be effectively excluded, the majority of the Afghan and Western public are war-weary and it is a propitious time for negotiations.

Feb 16, 2011

Memorials to Purposelessness

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the US military offensive into Marjah in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. Operation Moshtarak, as it was called, was the largest military operation in Afghanistan since the removal of the Taliban regime in the fall of 2001. However, it served not just as a military operation, but also as a high profile public relations campaign and the "official" start of America's escalation of the Afghan War.*

Jan 5, 2011

Perhaps a Good Step in Afghanistan

Several media outlets, including the Guardian and McClatchy, reported this week that US Marines in one part of Sangin, one of the most violent districts in Helmand Province, have, through 25 days of negotiations, reached a deal with local Afghan leaders. It is, of course, too early to know whether this deal is even real and, if it is, whether it will last.

Sep 15, 2010

Position on Afghanistan for Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Approved September 15, 2010

In July of 2009, the Boards of the CLW and the Center adopted a position on Afghanistan calling on the Administration to provide a clear statement of objectives for the war and metrics that would show whether those objectives were being met.

Jan 20, 2010

Too Quick to Battle

President Obama inherited three wars: Iraq, Afghanistan and the fight against al Qaeda. And despite all the promise of a fresh approach as he took office, and a steady stream of rhetoric since then about the need for adversaries around the world to find common ground, his administration has inherited the tendency of its predecessor to rely too heavily on military solutions to these conflicts.

Dec 17, 2009

Analysis of FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Conference Agreement (HR 3326)

The Conference agreement on the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill was adopted by the full House on Wednesday, December 16, roughly 24 hours after it became available for public viewing. The Senate is expected to act on the legislation this week. The bill includes $497.7 billion for the Department of Defense’s annual “base” budget, excluding funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dec 2, 2009

Putting Afghanistan Troop Increase Costs in Perspective

Adding 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan will cost $30 billion during Fiscal Year 2010. In this new fact sheet, Travis Sharp expresses this hefty sum in more accessible terms, including the cost per taxpayer, cost per minute, and opportunity cost.

Jul 28, 2009

Analysis of FY 2010 House Defense Appropriations Bill (HR 3326)

On July 22, 2009, the House Appropriations Committee completed its markup of the fiscal year 2010 Defense Appropriations bill (HR 3326). The Committee bill provides $636.6 billion in total funding, $3.8 billion less than the President’s request. Of the total, $508.4 billion is for the Department of Defense “base” budget and $128.2 billion is for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jul 13, 2009

Analysis of Senate Defense Authorization for FY 2010 (S. 1390)

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) completed its markup of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Defense Authorization bill (S. 1390) on June 25, 2009. The marked up bill recommends $679.8 billion in funding, $375 million less than requested by the administration.

Jun 25, 2009

Should Torture Be Part of the U.S.'s Counterterrorism Approach?

President Obama decided not to release a new group of detainee abuse photographs because he believes they would inflame our enemies and threaten American troops. Indeed, the shocking photos from Abu Ghraib have served as a powerful recruiting tool for al-Qaeda and have sparked outrage across the world.

Jun 16, 2009

Congressional Add-Ons to Second FY 2009 War Supplemental (H.R. 2346/S. 1054)

As part of their work on the second FY 2009 war supplemental, members of Congress provided nearly $7 billion in “add-ons” or funds not sought by the Pentagon. Much of this additional funding is being included as part of the supplemental because these programs are controversial and might not otherwise be funded through the normal budget process.

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